Armenian PM’s actions at odds with efforts to resolve Karabakh conflict
While the negotiations between Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan were held in Geneva, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Of course, this step not only overshadows the negotiation process, but it is also at odds with efforts which are made to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a whole. Pashinyan’s actions are nothing more than an attempt to divert attention in a different direction through various maneuvers. Pashinyan has always resorted to this trick. His authority among the Armenian citizens is undermined, and he is trying to attract attention by any means, including populist statements and maneuvers. On the eve of the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in Bratislava in December 2019, Pashinyan used a similar method. This is evidenced by his visit to Nagorno Karabakh and a meeting with separatists, as well as by the statement of the press secretary of the “leader” of so-called “Nagorno Karabakh Republic” David Babayan about the impossibility of a meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities. Format of negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group is unchanged, Azerbaijan and Armenia are the only parties to the negotiations, and Pashinyan’s dream of setting Karabakh separatists at the negotiating table is doomed to collapse, like his other aspirations and maneuvers.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met in Geneva on Jan. 29. On the eve of the meeting, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Nagorno Karabakh, where he met with separatist leader Bako Sahakyan and took part in presenting service quarters to Armenian soldiers.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.